The text of the lectures
The Hon. Justice Edwin Cameron
Supreme Court of Appeal, Republic of South Africa
Sexual orientation and the law: a test case for human rights
It is a great honour for me to be part of this occasion. I bring you greetings and congratulations from my own country, the Republic of South Africa. I am honoured to have been asked, as a South African, to give the keynote address on this happy and festive, but also solemn, occasion. Tonight we mark fifteen years of courageous, principled struggle on the part of RKLambda, and its director, Mr Helmut Graupner. I pay particular tribute to Helmut’s indefatigable work. It was Helmut who suggested the title of my lecture this evening: ‘sexual orientation and the law – a test case for human rights’. That title was taken from a university lecture that I delivered in South Africa in 1992, fourteen years ago. It was a delicate point in the negotiations that preceded my country’s transition. It was a time of great hope and expectation. The African National Congress – the voice of the majority of South Africa’s people – had recently been unbanned, and the apartheid government was negotiating with it and other parties for a peaceful transition to a democratic constitutional state...
President of Rechtskomitee Lambda
Wider die Sexuelle Apartheid – 15 Jahre RKL
15 Jahre Rechtskomitee LAMBDA. Das sind 15 Jahre Kampf um zwei fundamentale Menschenrechte. Das Recht auf sexuelle Selbstbestimmung einerseits und das Recht auf Gleichberechtigung und Nichtdiskriminierung andererseits. Beide Rechte sind unverzichtbar. Freiheit, die ungleich verteilt ist, ist inakzeptabel. Und Gleichheit in Unfreiheit unerträglich. In diesem Sinne ist die sexuelle Selbstb
estimmung nach der heute ständigen Rechtsprechung des Europäischen Gerichtshofs für Menschenrechte ein zentrales Schutzgut der Europäischen Menschenrechtskonvention1 und Diskriminierung auf Grund des Geschlechts und der sexuellen Orientierung inakzeptabel...
Dr. Robert Wintemute
Professor of Human Rights, School of Law, King's College London
Marriage vs. Registered Partnership: Full Equality Or Segregation For Same-Sex Couples
Today, in the European Union, discrimination in the criminal law against sexual activity between men or between women is not permitted, thanks to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, including the landmark age of consent cases brought by Rechtskomitee Lambda.1 National legislation must ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in public and private sector employment and higher education, thanks to a European Community directive. The focus of groups working for full legal equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals has therefore shifted to the rights of same-sex couples, including equal access to marriage and joint adoption of children. This topic raises four questions I would like to address: Is there an historical trend towards full equality in every country? Are there any strong arguments against allowing same-sex couples to marry? Is registered partnership enough to provide full equality? And (iv) is registered partnership a necessary intermediate step towards full equality?
Dr. Hans Ytterberg
Ombudsman against Discrimination of grounds of Sexual Orientation appointed by the Swedish Government
Why Registered Partnership is not Enough – Swedens Way to Same-Sex Marriage
Historic development is a continuous process. It is therefore often difficult to identify a single event, which radically changes the course of history. From this rule there are, of course, exceptions. This is the case also when we look at the development of legal recognition for same-sex relationships. For Sweden’s part such a turning point, law reform wise, came in 1973, when the Government presented Parliament with a bill1 containing proposals for a major reform of the Swedish marriage legislation in which e.g. the rules on annulment of marriage and legal separation were done away with. Some of the older obstacles to marriage were also repealed and a new very liberal divorce legislation was introduced. In that context, little did the Standing Committee on Civil Law Legislation of the Swedish Parliament2 realise the far-reaching effects one and half lines included in its legislative report on this bill would have on the future developments...
The Hon. Justive Dr. Lilian Hofmeister,
| RA Dr. Elisabeth Rech,
Vicepresident of the Vienna Bar Association
| Mag. Karin Gastinger,
Federal Minister of Justice
| Dr. Barbara Helige,
President of the Austrian Judges Association
| Dr. Erik Buxbaum,
Director General of Public Security
| Dr. Heinz Patzelt,
Secretary General of Amnesty International Austria
UN-Special Rapporteur, Inernational Commission of Jurists, EU Network of Independent Experts in Fundamental Rights, Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Human Rights
| NRAbg. Mag. Ulrike Lunacek,
Spokeperson of the European Green Party EGP
| Günter Tolar,
Federal Chairman of Social Democracy & Homosexuality SOHO